Archive for the ‘It’s the 3 Little Things’ Category

February Happy List

Monday, March 4th, 2019

snag the momadvice book club shirt– another BIG happy this month!

Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that can help your home get back on track after the holidays.

Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!

My February Happy List

Doing a Book Chat over a Puzzle

Not only was our book club book a genuine hit, we shared our discussion over a jigsaw puzzle this month. Ryan & I have been working on a puzzle while listening to a variety of podcasts and, as we headed down to our family room for our discussion, everyone started to congregate around the jigsaw puzzle instead of on my couches.

It was an unintentional relocation that got us all talking about our strategies for completing puzzles and how much we enjoy putting them together. I got to witness my girlfriends in a whole new way as the leaders came out to put everyone to task, the jigsaw genius grabbed up all the sky pieces in record time, and the shared laughter as we hunted for the nipples on all these male chests on the beach was so good for my soul.

We all agreed, this puzzle was a fun one and would be a blast to put together with your friends over a good book chat too. In fact, I’m thinking that the puzzle just might be a permanent fixture at our chats. Up next? This one!

Good Girls

I am not a big sitcom person, mainly because I hate to feel obligated to keep up with one more show. For some reason, my Netflix-watching lead me down the tunnel to the first season of Good Girls and I am so glad it did. At first look, this seemed like a pretty typical good girls gone bad storyline. Three women are down on their luck and decide to rob a local grocery store to try to get them to land back on their feet.

It is much, much more compelling that though, thanks to the incredible acting by these dynamic female leads. Their stories are ones that any mother can sympathize with and their reasoning for continuing their heists are things that you can feel sympathetic to. With all of these ladies missing that criminal background component, each episode feels like it leaves you with a cliffhanger where you just know that they are going to get caught.

I’m not sure how sustainable this storyline could be from season to season, but if you were a fan of Weeds, you know that good girls going bad can sustain quite a few seasons with the right acting. This show is definitely binge-worthy and has been a great escape.

Meal Prepping for the Week

The past two weeks we have managed to avoid dining out thanks to me designating one day a week to prepping our food. As silly as it sounds, just preparing the fruits and vegetables makes them about 100% more likely to be eaten and less likely to be thrown away. I have Instacart deliver all the groceries for our recipes and then spend one day cooking and chopping everything for our week, all while I listen to an audiobook.

The rest of the week is then spent with my feet up  and curled up with a good book. Everyone is loving the variety of options and no one has complained one bit about the lack of the formalness of a sit down dinner together. With all of us running in different directions each night, anyone who needs to stay home is now assured they have plenty of delicious food to look forward to.

Here are a few of my favorite prep-ahead dishes we enjoyed the last two weeks:

How to Make the Perfect Brown Rice
Baked Orange Chicken Meatballs
Chicken Pesto Frittata
Weeknight Roasted Turkey Sandwiches
How to Roast Chicken in Bulk
Delicious Roasted Green Beans
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Gixo Fitness App

Last month I had the opportunity to review the Gixo fitness app in a partnership with the company, but now that the partnership is over I decided to buy myself a paid membership and am, truly, using this app as part of my weekly fitness routines. If you are someone who prefers working out on a treadmill, they offer treadmill workouts that you can either walk (like me!) or run. The music is all so uniquely mixed that it helps keep your motivation up the entire time.

As much as I love cardio, my biggest hurdle is strength training. I have really lost a lot of my strength routines and so I started a routine that they offer called the Daily 40 that you can snag on-demand and do whenever it is convenient for your schedule. With the additional guidance from the trainer and the ability to do these exercises as fast or as slow as I want (unlike the pressure I feel in taking a class in-person) so I can really focus on making each movement count and avoid my risk of injury, this been a healthy way to get my strength back.

A few things that have helped my at-home routines are these ankle stabilizersthis thicker matthese earbuds for listening to my workouts, and a good pair of running shoes that I had fitted at a local shop.


One of the best parts about celebrating a birthday is getting gifts that I get to share my thoughts on with you. I went to get a pedicure with a girlfriend one day and she whipped out these pedicure socks that I had no clue had ever existed until that moment. Being the thoughtful friend she is, she gifted me a pair months later along with a gift certificate to get a pedicure.

You know what? This just might be MY new go-to girlfriend gift.

I always have cold feet, but there is nothing worse than having something so indulgent done for you and then immediately see your feet turning blue on your way out from the chill of going from hot to cold. These socks just leave your toes exposed so after your pedicure wraps up, you can put these on before they paint your toes. They are made of thick cotton and allow your feet to still climb into your flip flops for the long trip home.

Getting Back to Magazine Breaks

I was reading my magazines digitally through our local library, but I have really been missing paper magazines and being able to pull out articles for inspiration for my files. More than that, I am trying to not be on my digital devices so much so I have gotten back to magazine reading and used some of my Christmas funds (thank you, grandma & grandpa) to secure some great subscriptions.

Mail day got a heck of a lot more fun and I love getting to pay these forward in our mom circle after I finish them. Almost all of them were in the $5-10 range thanks to this website. They always offer a really great daily deal too that is handy for gift-giving!

I’m Back to My Baby Feet

I really need to write a post on the weirdest things I have bought on Amazon because this has to be one of them. The only reason I ever go get pedicures is because of how dry and awful the bottoms of my feet get, especially in the winter months. These foot peel masks had such great reviews that I thought they would be worth buying and trying for an at-home pedicure.

Just slip these plastic booties on, filled with this magic solution, and leave them on for an hour. Then, a week or so later, all of your awful dry skin just starts peeling off your feet each time you soak them. It’s both wildly weird and incredibly gratifying to have this dead skin all come off. These come with two sets of masks, which is just about how many one might need to get through these winter months. These are way more affordable than a pedicure, way less painful than having someone scrubbing with those awful graters, and I loved that I could do these masks while reading a book or catching up on my Netflix.

Wool Dryer Balls

I’ve been trying to green up some of my routines this year and decided to switch to dryer balls instead of using fabric softener. I purchased this set of 6XL Dryer Balls and started using these this week and can’t believe how beautifully these work and how fluffy and static-free our clothes are. I have been adding a couple of drops of orange essential oils to them for a fresh chemically-free scent. I highly recommend these if you are looking to green up your laundry routine too and this handy recipe for making your own detergent.

The best part?

These dryer balls can last up to 1,000 washes!

I Feel In Control of My Health Again

You may not have known that I went to school for food & nutrition, but I had every intention of becoming a dietician. It is one of the reasons that I don’t believe in diet pills or quick fixes when it comes to nutrition. Thanks to pretty good genes (and a little bit of exercise), I haven’t really had to work that hard at staying slim, but my luck changed when I started taking a particular medication to treat my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, coupled with my sluggish thyroid problems. It’s been such a blessing to finally have pills that work, but one of the side effects has been weight gain and fluid retention.  I’ve really been on the struggle bus with joy over something that finally works and despair over the weight that is creeping on.

The nurse practitioner that I’ve been seeing recommended I give this nutrition program a spin because it involved lifestyle choices that would be sustainable for me, as lifelong habits, and would teach me how to nourish my body in the right way. She said that my tactics of eating less were causing my body to want to hang on to MORE weight, the exact thing I was trying to get away from.

One day I will sit down and write a long post about this, but after a month of following their plan, I feel better than I have felt in so long. I knew very little about the importance of calculating macros, intermittent fasting, or carb cycling, but these three things have radically changed my relationship with food. There are no gimmicks and no products to purchase.

As someone with a history of disordered eating, I am finally giving my body exactly what it needs and it has improved my energy, my sleep, and my eating habits.  I only share about things like this if they are really and truly worth your time and money. This, for me, was the ticket I needed to have a healthy relationship with food again. I finally see what the hype is all about and I’m here for it.

A Board Game the Whole Family Loved

If you are looking for a board game that is easy to play, that takes about 30 minutes, and is something that even your younger kids can get the hang of…I present to you Azul! Basically, you are artisans decorating the walls of the royal Palace of Dvora (of course you are) and the object of the game is to complete a row of patterns and get as high of as score as you can in the process. It sounds rather simple, but it reminds me a lot of Blokus because you have to use strategy to try to block opponents from nailing their patterns while still trying to tile your own wall.

The scoring is a bit confusing until you get the hang of it. I recommend checking out YouTube and watching people play the game, especially since it is such a quick game. It makes a lot more sense when you see it all in action.

If you are a fan of Blokus, I think you will like this game of strategy! My kids easily got the hang of it and, since the game is shorter, they didn’t even mind going a few rounds with us. I can see this being our new drinks-and-games choice when we have our friends over too!

I Put Some Spring in My Wardrobe

Winter feels like it is never ending, over here in the Midwest, and I realized that my wardrobe has started to reflect that. I tend to go really neutral in the winter months with just the beige, and the gray, and the black, and the white. Honestly, I think that was adding to that Midwest winter doldrums.

I headed to thredup and just searched for floral and pulled up so many pretty patterns and used my birthday money (thanks, grandma!) to treat myself to a little spring.  I also made a deal with myself that I would NOT buy anything in black-and-white stripes or in these blah colors at any point during this transaction. And it was tough. Because I love me some stripes. If you are feeling the blahs too, maybe search for a little floral for your closet too. I’m planning to trade out some black for a pretty print until Spring comes.

40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge is Here

The last time I participated in the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge, I managed to carve out a very unexpected bonus room in our house. I remember how freeing it felt to get rid of the things that we did not need anymore.

The clutter has a way of creeping up on us so I’m looking forward to participating in the challenge again, hot off the heels of all my Marie Kondo watching. If you need a kick in the pants too, I encourage you to sign up for this. I am really excited to start whittling away at some of our clutter and I love the accountability that comes from a good online challenge.

Here are a few of my favorite February captures

Haven’t seen these two in awhile? We aren’t too keen on letting mom take as many photos now that we have moved into these teenage years. They did let me take a quick snap though on our unexpected staycation. The power outage on our road ended up being the good kind of family bonding stuff we all needed. How nice to have a hotel just around the corner to relocate to! Can you believe that they are 13 and 16 now???

This mug always makes me laugh. Being a book blogger is equal parts awesome and overwhelming. I am buried under the summer reads that have been coming my way and crawling out at a snail’s pace. The thing is, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Volunteering at the food bank reminded me of what a privilege it is to eat the rainbow. I shared a little bit about that on my feed this month


Did I mention what a joy it is to put together the Ten Laughs for Tuesday too? I love making you guys laugh and seeing your comments on these. Be sure to swing by my IG for a good laugh on Tuesday. Why Tuesday? Because nothing good happens on a Tuesday except this. 😉 



Top Ten Most Visited Articles in February

  1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
  2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
  3. How to Organize Board Games
  4. January 2019 Must-Reads
  5. Best Homemade Non Stick Spray in the World (always cringing when I see these old photos!!)
  6. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
  7. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
  8. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
  9. DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas
  10. January Happy List

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in February

  1. Soft-Touch Foot Peel Masks
  2. Neck & Shoulder Relaxer
  3. Moroccan Pouf
  4. Azul Board Game
  5. Argan Oil (my favorite moisturizer!!)
  6. Bluetooth Headphones
  7. Ankle Brace Compression Sleeves
  8. Rainbow Unicorn Hoodie
  9. True Body Lift Bra
  10. Happy Dish Towel

Top Ten Books Purchased in February

  1. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter
  2. Lilac Girls
  3. Brass
  4. The Air You Breathe
  5. The Animators
  6. Hum if You Don’t Know the Words
  7. The Lost Letter
  8. The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  9. My Oxford Year
  10. When They Call You a Terrorist

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of February fun and I look forward to sharing more in March! I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over hereto get this fun weekly in your inbox.

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

January Happy List

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that can help your home get back on track after the holidays.

Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!

My January Happy List

Dedicate A 30-Day Yoga Journey

One fitness routine that I looked forward to getting back to was my yoga practice. I discovered the Yoga by Adriene YouTube channel last year and loved these FREE yoga classes and her fun approach to making yoga something for EVERYONE.

She is doing a 30-day challenge to start out the New Year called, “Dedicate.” Now usually online challenges give you a free week or two and then demand charges. This one is completely free and with no strings attached…except for falling in love with your yoga practice.  In these lessons, she encourages you to practice paying attention, building muscle, cultivating joint stability, improving body function, increasing clarity of mind, stimulating stagnant energy, resolving stress tuning into your natural rhythm relaxing, and just enjoy having fun.

It’s free. All of it. No catch. No expiration date. Go to // to read all the details, dedicate and sign up!

Sex & Love Around the World Series

Netflix makes some funny suggestions for us since we are such documentary fanatics and, Sex & Love Around the World popped up as a suggestion in our feed. We decided to give an episode a chance and were blown away by how much we learned from this.

Not like THAT, you guys! Hahaha! Cultures have such different requirements for dating, religion, and societal norms and this series has OPENED MY EYES to understanding the different traditions of different countries. I think the ones that I have really been amazed by have been the documentaires in India & Tokyo.

Amanpour manages to secure some REALLY interesting interviews from some fascinating perspectives that I would not have ever considered. Like, what it would be like to be transgender, for example, and celebrated by your culture YET considered, basically, an untouchable and unable to find employment. It is things like that which have lead to loonnnggg talks, after these episodes end, about what we think countries have done right and what we wish they could do better on.

It’s really good- I promise, I won’t lead you astray on your Netflix time.

I Finally Figured Out My Enneagram Number

I took an enneagram test years ago and it told me that I was a Type 2 (Helper!) which felt soooo right to me, BUT I think that is how I want to be perceived by others. I had a feeling if I sat down to take it again that it would yield better results if I looked at myself without that filtered lens. Sure enough, I am Type 1 ALL THE WAY. Type 1’s have STRONG FEELINGS about EVERYTHING and they usually let you know them. They can be gifted strong leaders, but they also are very nit-picky and have struggles with anger because they can’t ever let their anger out in the world.

When I started to read some of the challenges Type 1’s face, my eyes watered up.

They say if you have an emotional reaction to reading about a personality type, it is probably your type.

That one fit me so well and I’m relieved I don’t have to be a helper anymore.


This book is a HUGE help if you are trying to figure out what type you are. Don’t forget, it’s also really awesome to know the people’s that you are closest with. Learning about my husband and kids was just as important this year and helps me manage expectations and interact with them a little differently.

I Figured Out How to Cover Up My Grays Again

I have always colored my hair at home with a box from the drugstore or auto shipped to me on Prime. I’m hitting that age though where the gray is coming in fast and furious and it had started to change the color of my roots. Who knew 41 was going to be such a game-changer for my hair.  After playing around with several colors (too dark and then too light) I decided to give Madison-Reed a spin (DARN YOU, Instagram Ads!).  You fill out a quick questionnaire and then they send you everything you need to do a professional color job at home. You can set it to ship on auto as often or as little as you need it too.

They send everything you need to make the job a little less messy from barrier creams to a little shower cap to TWO pairs of gloves.

The best part?

They also ship a root touch-up kit in your goodies so you can keep your color looking fresh a little bit longer.

I can’t say enough good things- here’s a coupon to save you $15 if you want to give a free box a spin. I promise, you will love it too!

Trying Out New Habits

As I get older, I have felt more and more in tune with the things that derail me from what I hope to achieve out of life. This year has been about analyzing my bad habits and replacing them with better ones. Working through my issues with my health, exercise schedule, and sleep habits (with a professional)  has helped show me a few things I could be working on.

Three things that I’ve started trying are:

The S.S.S. rule- Never heard of it? It’s because I made it up. It stands for Stop Scrolling after Six. With encouragement from physicians, we all agreed that getting off the scroll-roll would be a good idea a couple of hours before bedtime. The thing is? Two hours before bedtime still leaves me two hours to think about and worry about things. I decided ending it BEFORE our dinner hour is a good idea. Once in awhile, I pop on to drop something in IG Story, but I avoid the scroll. This is helping me A LOT mentally and giving me more time to read too!

The Only Buying Wine for Weekends rule- As much as I love wine, having it THAT accessible has lead to some poor weeknight decisions and bad sleep. We decided that just buying wine on the weekend would be our new rule and it has made our wine feel more special and so fun to pick out. Not everyone needs to do this, but if wine is available, I just have to pour a glass after the kids go to bed. Now that we keep our bar cart empty, it forced me to pick up a nightly tea habit instead. When we get out (which is rare) that also feels like a major treat. I just know how much better I feel when I don’t have an unlimited supply (R.I.P. Box of Wine) and I feel better about my productivity throughout my week.

The Staying Away from Triggers on Social Media rule- We all have those people in life that we loovveee to hate (or just love to hate their viewpoint, amiright?). Although I never participated in a discussion with them, I did go there to find things to be upset about. You know, the friend who never includes you? The friend who talks political in an unkind way? The friend who has never been a friend, but you just have to know what they are doing? We ALL have these people and their feeds can be a rabbit hole to tunnel into and come out feeling bad. Life is just too short to live like that. I highly recommend the Kill Newsfeed extension and to exercise your abilities to mute people that aren’t helping you be your best self. They will never know and you will have happier days ahead.

Putting Yourself Out There is Good Stuff

Maybe it is just me, but I have gotten lazy about getting to know new people and making time for socializing. It means that I can close myself off to new people and new situations.

This year, I decided to put myself out there more and it is has been SO GOOD. From joining our town’s volunteer organization to connect with internet friends, I have broadened my circle in some beautiful ways.

Surprise, surprise, but when you broaden yourself, you have less time to do the trolling on social media you did before. Hahaha!

This month I reached out to Shannan Martin, for example, and asked if we could meet up for lunch. She lives just a couple of towns over, but making time and space has always felt like a challenge to me. We ended up having the most incredible time together and I was so glad that I put that invitation out into the Universe so that I could gab with her. P.S. If you haven’t read her books, add it to your reading list today. She’s a wildly talented writer and a heartfelt follow on Instagram. #bigfan

A Truly Comfortable Bra

I am a petite girl and have a hard time finding bras that don’t have straps that slip or gapping in the front. I ran across this company and noticed that they made a bra without adjustable straps and that offered a more seamless bra experience that looked, quite frankly, comfortable. I settled on the True Body Lift Bra and got it this week in the mail and I, truly, plan to order a few more because it is PERFECT.

I have ongoing issues with my shoulder blades and this offers a bit of comfortable compression in the spots that I normally am layering with tape. It is fitting, supportive, and lightly padded, but lacking the underwires that can poke and cause discomfort throughout the day. They come in a million colors and, according to reviews, do not stretch out over time the way other types of bras like this do. They did send me $15 coupons if I wanted to share them (no pressure) so this might be an affordable way to see if this option is right for you. Here is a $15 off coupon! I am DEFINITELY planning on making this one my new go-to this year.

Neck & Shoulder Relaxer

One thing I had my holiday wish list was this Neck & Shoulder relaxer gadget and I was so excited to get it for my birthday this year (thanks, mom & dad!!). I realize that this looks like the most unglamorous gift, but I plan to use this in lieu of a travel pillow now. This no-frills gadget, simply feels like someone holding your head for you and allows your neck to relax. My husband was baffled why I would ask for this, but he happened to have a sore neck the day it arrived, used it, and then I found myself fighting for my turn to use it.

If you read a lot in bed, you can nestle this on whatever pillow you have and it supports your head while you are reading. I have been using it a lot this week while I spent my evenings in bed catching up on our book club book. I combined this with my flip pillow and feel like my neck has been feeling so much better this week with all the support. More importantly, this will be just the gadget I need when we go on our long trips this year.

Keep in mind, this gadget is not fancy, but it is effective and worth the mere $13 price tag!

All the Fyre Festival Dramaz

Did you know that there were TWO Fyre Festival documentaries that came out this month? I spent an entire afternoon on Sunday watching both of these documentaries and REALLY recommend you do too.

Unfamiliar with the drama? Me too!

Here’s why they are interesting. Two organizers (an entrepreneur & Ja’Rule) put together a music festival on an island and invited attendees to come to this very exclusive very HIGH-END event. Millennials were DOWN for this and they put together some really flashy footage with gorgeous models that made the announcement for them. The thing is? They didn’t actually have anything in place to pull this off- not the infrastructure, not the talent, not the falsely advertised cabana/home spaces, etc… It is an absolute s–t show. So all these people arrive and it is NOT what they thought they were signed up for AT ALL. And even though this is a generation that some people kind of laugh at, as a human being you really sympathize with these people who were sold a really horrifying vacation weekend.

After watching the two, I felt the Netflix Fyre was the more compelling documentary. It really showcased the aftermath and the hardships that were endured by those assisting and the islanders who were involved. Hulu takes a more light-hearted look at it, but it does contain really smart psychological profiling and and actually interviews the guy who was in charge.

Don’t take my word for it, it is a good way to spend an afternoon and it will give you tons to talk about with your spouse!

Here are a few of my favorite captures this month! 

I can’t take credit for this capture, but my hubby snapped this of me at my birthday lunch. We dined over here and it was DIVINE. The lunch was affordable, filling, and well-seasoned. Loved the decor and a perfect place to update your FB headshot- hahaha!

This birthday cake was the sweetest surprise from my girlfriend! Her hubby & I are practically birthday twins so we got these stunning macaron cakes (check out her page of cakes– it’s jaw-dropping!) with beautiful flutes of bubbly to celebrate. We topped the evening off with Swan Lake. It was all the birthday magic a girl could stand! 

I’ve been meal prepping the past couple of weeks and feeling awwwwfulllyyy smug with myself to not be cooking every night. We have been eating quite well and I’ve had a lot more time for good books. I’m hoping to keep that streak up moving into February!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in January

1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs Recipe
3. How to Organize Board Games
4. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
5. The Best Books of 2018
6. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
7. DIY Roll-Up Jigsaw Puzzle Mat
8. How to Make a Yarn Pom-Pom Wreath
9. How to Cable: Knitted Ear Warmers for Those in Need
10. MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in January

1. Shiatsu Back & Neck Massager
2. Cotton Paperless Towels
3. Reusable Produce Bags
4. Hanes Sweat-Free Bras
5. Keysocks
6. Body Lift Bras
7. Neck & Shoulder Relaxer
8. Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit
9. Old Books Soy Candle
10. Reusable Facial Rounds

Top Ten Books Purchased in January

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

A River of Stars

The Story of Arthur Truluv

Hey Ladies!!


Meet the Frugalwoods


All You Can Ever Know

Confessions of a Domestic Failure

The Intermission

I hope you enjoyed this month’s round-up of January fun and I look forward to sharing more in February! I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over hereto get this fun weekly in your inbox.

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

December Happy List

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that you can put to work in organizing your home for the holidays.

Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!

My December Happy List

How was your December? I hope that you had a wonderful month filled with the people you love! We had a whole heck of a lot of fa-la-lahing this season…and I’m not complaining one bit.

Here are a few things that topped my December Happy List!

Gift Wrapping Dates

I’m in a life stage where seeing friends is challenging so weaving in those real life tasks and errands with friends means I can catch up AND get something done. I invited a friend over to wrap gifts with me and we had such a good time that this is our new annual tradition. Sipping wine, wrapping together, and singing holiday carols is amazing.

Years ago I got this table and I can’t tell you how awesome it was to wrap my gifts on it. Since it folds so small, it hardly takes up space and both of us could wrap at the same time without issues. I was reminded why this is one of my favorite things. Small space living calls for creativity and well-thought design. This one was worth every dollar.

FRESH Christmas Music Playlist

Each year, I try to create a memorable playlist and this one has been TWO years of hunting for the most obscure songs from wayyy back in the day to indie hits that should have more airplay and even some new contemporary music to mix in. I present to you, FRESH Christmas.

It is THIRTEEN (!!!) hours long and I couldn’t love each track more. The weirdest part? I am now getting musicians contacting me and sending me songs to see if I will put it on my mix. I can now add music producer to my list of talents- hahaha!

Holiday Lipstick That Sticks

For the holidays, I rely on my long-wearing lipsticks to keep me looking polished while I stuff my face with Christmas cookies. If you are looking for one that will get you through an entire day (FOR REALZ!), I recommend this one.

It’s important to know these are often vibrant (at least the colors I choose). Don’t panic, just do a few blots with a tissue and enjoy your night without lipstick on your teeth this year. Those reviews don’t lie, friends, this stuff sticks! For a holiday red, I’m loving Pioneer.

Dumplin’ the Movie

I told you guys last week that I had read this book so I could prepare for the movie and couldn’t wait to dive in. This movie was just so beautifully done and I so appreciated that they had taken out all the sexual stuff in the book so that I could enjoy it with my tween daughter.  If you have a tween that you are on the hunt for a great movie to watch together, this one fits the bill perfectly. Thanks, Netflix!

Our Smaller Holiday Tree

Last year I noticed that Hearth & Hand was offering a small Christmas tree that looked just perfect for our home. I went to the store to snag it, only to see that every unit that had been listed online was being used as an ornament display for the store. When I saw these on display, I quickly realized why. With its unique Scandinavian design, this tree allowed for multiple ornaments to be on the same branch and they all had the spacing advantage to be on display at the same time.

take a holiday tour over here or follow me on IG!

As I put it up again this year, a chore that now only takes me an hour or so to pull off, I was reminded how good it was that we downsized this and how nice it is to put out fewer Christmas decorations each year. A fresh wreath filled with holiday greenery, a big bowl of clementines (soon to be eaten), and a few handmade holiday items are all we need to make our home festive this year.

Marco Polo-ing My Way Through the Holidays

With limited time to see everyone and do everything before the holidays, I have been relying heavily upon my good app friend, Marco Polo. If you are a newer to the MomAdvice community, you might not have heard me sing praises about this smart app, but it is one of my favorite app offerings for busy moms.

Install the app and send a video walkie talkie message to a friend or family member. Once you send them one, they get an alert they have a message that they can watch. When they are available, they can just send you a video walkie talkie message back. No need to coordinate at all, like on FaceTime and Skype. You just send it when you are available, listen when you can, reply when you want to.

It’s definitely something to check out and has made me feel MORE connected to so many people in my life. The best part? It’s completely FREE!

The Flip Pillow

I have been looking for a supportive pillow for my back when I am reading and decided that this pillow was the perfect solution for reading books in my shed.  It is a 10-in-1 pillow so you can flip it in all different directions to give your body support where it needs it. I had high hopes this would be a good solution and it is AMAZINGLY comfortable. If you do a lot of reading in bed or work from a couch/bed, this offers an incredible amount of support and comfort. I can’t rave enough. I’m pretty much the ladies in these infomercials– haha!

The pillow does come without a cover, but I found one over here (I bought the dark color so it will hold up better) and it keeps the pillow protected.

Adjustable Laptop Tray

Are you seeing a theme here? On my bad days, I love the option to work from my comfy bed so I read through one million reviews and submitted this adjustable laptop tray as my gift idea from my parents. The legs can go very tall, the tray can be tilted so your neck is in the right position, and the top is GENEROUS so you can use your mouse.

The design is really thoughtful. I love that it has rubber edges to keep your laptop and mouse from slipping down and the adjustability on this is super straightforward. Best of all, it is really lightweight too so it makes it easy to take it where I need it. Did I mention a lifetime warranty?

According to the packaging, it is also perfect for a picnic….just in case you need another use for it.

Who wants a lunch date with me now, huh?

A Portable Neck Massager

Massages are out of my price range right now so I wanted to find something that I could use at home. When I ran across this portable massager, I thought it would help me so much with my neck and back issues.

You guys. This thing is AMAZING!! It really does feel like someone is massaging your back and you have full control over the intensity because your arms just loop through it to move it around. It is heated so it also adds warmth while you are being massaged which has helped relax my muscles so much.

It also comes with an obnoxious car charger which I plan to use to embarrass my children and annoy my spouse when we trade off on driving. I mean, as if sitting on my phone wasn’t obnoxious enough, lemme pull out my neck massager while I wait for you to get done with your drama class.

I can’t wait to be *that* mom!

Those were a few of my favorite gifts this year!

Here are a few of my favorite captures this month! 

Aldi bouquet arranging is my jam. $3.99 for a half dozen roses? I’m in! Repurposed candles from this tablescape idea.

Junior League of South Bend gala- a blast with a few of my new favorite gal pals!

My baby turned THIRTEEN. We celebrated with this cake and mom cried a lot.

It was allll about family! This black-and-white image is me with my sister & brother. Right above it, is my sister-in-law sharing a cup of cheer at the pop-up Christmas bar that had opened.

My daughter made this gorgeous picture of us. My husband joined the table tennis club in town, I have perfected my top bun, my cat is obsessed with our poor son (who is slightly less enraptured with her- at least he pretends to be!), and our daughter’s moto pants are on-point.

I couldn’t love my people more!

What about you? What did you love this month?

Here’s what I *could* tell from your browsing this year!

Top Ten Most Visited Articles in 2018

1. Easy Burlap Wreath Tutorial
2. 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs Recipe
3. How to Make Quinoa in the Rice Cooker
4. How to Make a Blanket Scarf
5. How to Make a Homeless Care Package
6. How to Dye a Faded Pair of Jeans
7. How to Spray Paint Furniture
8. Fruit-Infused Water Recipes
9. DIY Fluffy Slime Recipe
10. MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

Top Ten Most Purchased Items in 2018

1. Rissy 2 Wind Resistant Jacket
2. Hallmark Movie Watching Mug
3. Dissent Collar Baby Bib
4. Free People Palisades Off-the-Shoulder Top
5. Keysocks
6. Hanes Sweat-Free Bras
7. Yearly Reading Log Digital Download
8. Old-Fashioned Family Christmas Doormat
9. Birthstone Bar Necklace

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store for January! I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

November Happy List

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Have you been missing the 3 little things list each week? Just so you know, this feature didn’t go away…it just moved over to my newsletters each week.

I know your time is precious and our inbox can get overloaded with a lot of newsletter junk. What I want you to know though is that I’m REALLY proud of the newsletters I craft each week and I include loads of shows, podcasts, books, and items we are loving in our home each week.

Sign up is super quick over here. I will even send you some free printables that you can put to work in organizing your home for the holidays.

Today I wanted to share what you might have missed this past month in one big giant happy list!!

My November Happy List


Baking Smells Without the Baking

Anybody else love the smell of freshly baked goods, but don’t really have the time to bake them? I moved my diffuser into my office and discovered this bakery oils set that I can diffuse while tackling things on my working to-do list.

With smells like gingerbread, coffee cake, and pumpkin pie, with my faux fireplace blazing, it is feeling deliciously cozy down in my office.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

I was a big fan of the show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and excited to see that Netflix was revisiting the Sabrina theme.

In case you didn’t know, this is not the same story of Sabrina really at all. Archie Comics released an Archie Horror series in 2014 that was about Sabrina in the 1960’s with much darker themes.

In fact, it is so dark that they are being sued right now because some of their elements are feeling just a tad too authentic.

This show is not one I would watch with my kids, but has been a good escape in the evenings with my hubby.

He does not enjoy horror AT ALL, but he has been loving this series as much as me as Sabrina figures out if she is a good witch or a bad witch…or if she even wants to be a witch at all.

Since this series is done by the same folks who produce Riverdale, I have enjoyed finding the easter eggs they have hidden for their Riverdale fans within this season. You may also recognize the lead actress from her Mad Men days! Wasn’t she the best in that show?

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

The one thing on my fall clothing bucket list that I REALLY wanted were these faux leather leggings that I kept hearing people rave about.

Although I’m not arguing that these make you look and feel slimmer, they were more appealing to me because of their compression aspect and how much better my whole body feels with any type of compression on it. In fact, a lot of people with my condition wear compression garments under their regular clothes for pain.

I mean, how can my husband argue with me that these are a sound investment when it helps with pain management. #iplayedthatcard

In all seriousness, I could not love these more and how much they dress up an outfit while still being, technically, black leggings.

They have a little shine to them, but not the ’80’s aerobic shine. Just a faux leather-y glimmer that makes these feel a step above the rest.

Paired with a couple of well-chosen items I got in my Stitch Fix box, I feel like these will be my holiday go-to.

Warm Matcha Drinks

I am not a breakfast eater, but I do love a warm drink in the morning. I have been combining 1 teaspoon matcha powder with a 1.5 cups of almond milk, a tablespoon of this, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

I just blend it all in a pot on my stove with my trusty handheld blender  for my morning pick-me-up.

Haven’t tried matcha before?

Here is why it’s such a great coffee alternative!

Salt Fat Acid Heat

Looking for a cooking show that will also get your wanderlust heart going?

I had no idea how enraptured I would be with this beautiful 4-part Netflix series and how much it would make me long to explore more dishes and places in the world.

Based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is the essential guide to the basic elements of good cooking and the hostess couldn’t be more charming. Check out the trailer and indulge in this one with your family.

Socks For Cold People

I love ballet flats and booties, but, dang, those tiny baby socks offer no warmth at all. When fall hits, I switch to these because they do a better job of insulating my legs from the Midwest cold. Even better? They don’t slip off, thanks to their perfectly designed length.

Adam Sandler’s Netflix Special

When I was in college, Adam Sandler came to Purdue and my hubby (then boyfriend) and I got the opportunity to catch his show. I have loved this man ever since.

When it was my night to pick our show for the evening (do you take turns at your house too?), I selected Adam’s new special and laughed and laughed and laughed until I cried.

He has all new original music throughout and, at 51 (!!!),  a whole new perspective on life as a father and husband.

I didn’t expect to be so choked up at the end though, but he brought out all the tears with a touching tribute to Chris Farley and to his fans. I wasn’t the only one raving– critics are digging it too!

For those that have been turned off by so much political banter with comedians, you will find that Adam doesn’t dive into that once and just brings the laughs we need right now.

My Fall Stitch Fix Box

I had about given up on Stitch Fix because I wasn’t really loving the quality of the items that were being shipped and I didn’t think any of the items felt like they were worth the prices they were charging…well, until this month.

Here is what I have learned, you MUST be specific in the notes section to your stylist because that is what they will really use to select your box.  I made specific requests this time like, “I would like a black romper that can be worn for many seasons and is made for a petite pear-shaped girl. I would like a wool car coat preferably in a neutral or blush tone.”

Making specific requests made an enormous difference in my box and I’m having a hard time selecting items this go-round.

If you haven’t tried it before, here is $25 to spend to have a stylist select a box of pretties for your fall wardrobe. Keep in mind, they style for men, women, and kiddos now. I am thinking of giving my hubby a box for Christmas this year.

Winning Those GoodReads Giveaways

Did you know that GoodReads offers giveaways to their readers ALL THE TIME. I won the latest releases from Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, M.O. Walsh, & Taylor Jenkins Reid this past month.

Although I am able to get a lot of books for free from online review companies, I then am required to give a review back to keep receiving them.

Giveaways are a no pressure way to secure copies of books I am wanting without the pressure of getting reviews up right away.

Check the GoodReads giveaways page for current giveaways and always follow your favorite author profiles so you are notified when they share a giveaway with their readers. I am REALLY excited to be diving into this book this week.

By the way, you can follow what I’m reading over here, if you are interested!

A User’s Guide to Cheating Death

Greenwashing is such a big thing right now and I can’t tell you how many products and services I have been told to buy since I got sick that I had no clue if they really had any merit or value.

If you love Alton Brown and his food science lessons, you are going to have a big ol’ crush on Timothy Caulfield as he debunks a lot of the fake science that we are being sold in the wellness industry.

It is sure to get a few people pissed off, but we are being sold a lot of snake oil these days.  I learned so much!

RBG Documentary

I am sure it goes without saying that this has been a rough time for many when it comes to politics. I try to be a distraction from that and share my opinions around the dinner table, but I was looking for a little salve for my soul after the recent headline news.

For our family night, we indulged in the new Hulu RBG documentary.

If you are unfamiliar with the original Notorious, it is time to get acquainted with this insanely gifted woman.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a legacy and icon status unlike any other judicial figure. And for good reason. This documentary follows the life, challenges, and accomplishments of everyone’s favorite 85 year old.

It is super family-appropriate and gave us a lot to chat about.

Like, um, how lazy I felt after I watched it.

This woman is IMPRESSIVE.

Burning the candle at BOTH ends and still hitting the gym like a boss.

Don’t have Hulu? No worries! Check out Hulu for free, on me for your first month. And while you have it, enjoy The Handmaid’s Tale while you have your freebie activated. It’s AH-MAZING!

Water Bottle Brush Set

In an effort to cut down on waste, I have really been pushing that the kids take reusable water bottles to school. With the stainless interior, I worried about scraping up these while washing them and didn’t feel like shaking a little water with soap in them was really getting them clean enough.

Enter this amazing gadget and our water bottles have never been cleaner.

Narrow enough to get to the bottom easily and a perfect addition to getting those wine glasses clean too without scratching the glass up. It’s a win-win for ALL the hydration in our house and under $5.

Knock-Off Halo Top Ice Cream

Did you know that ALDI is offering grocery delivery now?


I am the happiest girl in the world right now.

Although, there are some fees (obviously) with delivery, I have more time to think/plan/add/remove items so that I feel like we may actually be doing MUCH better budget-wise. You can check and see if they are delivering in your area over here.

And I have one more reason to REALLY love Aldi.

They launched a low fat ice cream line that rivals my favorite Halo Top ice cream. It is SO good and it is a mere, $3.59 a pint. You can’t beat that for a treat that feels indulgent. One spoon please!

An Addictive Podcast

I have discovered that I can enjoy podcasts while I am doing some of my busy work on the website and consumed all seven episodes of Uncover: Escaping NXIVM in a single day. If you are an HSP (highly sensitive person), I wouldn’t recommend this one, but if you can handle it…this is a REALLY fascinating one.

Cults have always fascinated me and, perhaps, that is why I was drawn to this podcast. You may have read that Smallville actress Allison Mack was arrested on sex trafficking charges as a result of being a member of this group. The original pitched intention of the group was to gather like-minded people to help them attain personal growth and fulfillment through expensive courses they sold.

Yeah, another pyramid scheme.

Yet, behind the scenes, their leader Keith Raniere was crafting courses that sought to belittle and humiliate the women in the group as much as possible. It is quite astounding the ways they are belittled especially since these women are incredibly intelligent and gifted leaders.

The series is hosted by Joshua Bloc, who happened to have a childhood friend who had been a member of this group for twelve years. She gives listeners an inside look into what attracted her to the group and how quickly it turned.

The psychological games of cults are always fascinating and one can see how these groups prey and breakdown these women.

Tunes for Autumn

I have finally got my house all decorated for fall. I’m pretty sure that I have more bins for fall than I do for Christmas. It is, really, my favorite season. While I decorated, I listened to this autumn playlist I made.

I just wanted to share it with you today because it is one of my favorites.

I happen to know that it pairs quite well with a good cup of coffee.

My New Cricut Obsession

I finally took the plunge and bought a Cricut. After looking at all the options, the original Cricut Explore Air and the newest version only had a difference in how fast it could crank out my project.

People, if it is cheaper, I will wait all day for it to crank out!

I ended up getting this one with the bundle package and that has been the best way to try out all the different materials and get to know my machine for a fraction of the price of their newer version.

It turns out that everyone in my family is moving (except us) so I have been cranking out some housewarming gifts this week. The first thing I attempted to try was making painted signs. As soon as I posted a picture of my first sign, I got SO many responses from people that they 1) never took it out of its box or 2) were too intimidated to try painting signs.

You know I was feeling REALLY smug, but also had NO CLUE that this wasn’t where people normally started. It took me two days to make this sign, there may have been cursing, but I was SO proud. I decided to pay for the access to their graphics and these two signs were made and then personalized from these files.

Once I get the hang of it, I promise to share a tutorial with you.

I spent way too many hours reading tutorials and watching YouTube to count before I actually put the paint on the signs. It has a learning curve, for sure, but I think it is going to be worth it for holiday gifts.

A Show to Fill the Parenthood Void

A girlfriend had texted me  to share about a show on Netflix she thought we would enjoy. It’s called Atypical and I have been absolutely loving it.

This story follows Sam, a boy who is on the autism spectrum, and his quest for love and dating that ends up putting the entire family on their own individual quests of self-discovery.

With a child on the spectrum, I have loved seeing how these parents work with their child and help guide him through his teen years.

I also identify with the mother who is figuring out her new place when she is not needed as much at home.

This show has heart and humor, while showing the challenges and beauty in raising a child on the spectrum.

It did receive a lot of criticism on its first season for not being as informed as it should have been with the creation of Sam’s character. It seems they tried very hard to right some of those wrongs as they approached their second season.

It isn’t perfect, but it has been a really great escape.

Bringing the Outdoors In

I posted a picture on IG and someone was like, “Where did you find a grownup papasan chair?” and I had to share that I, actually, had dragged my outdoor chair in to read.

This giant chair makes me SO happy and has been a great way to take pressure off some of my old lady joints. I only mention this because I noticed they dropped the prices considerably and this cushion makes it look like it is an indoor chair rather than for its intended outdoor use.

When I was a kid, I would have died and gone to heaven to have one of these cool chairs in my room. My sister was the same way and rushed out to get one for her new place and we both have deemed it the perfect reading chair.

My only trouble?

Staying awake in it!

Pajama Jeans

I discovered these pajama jeans and I am in HEAVEN. The online reviews were so stellar that I had to check them out and these are my new favorite go-to pant. I bought the light and dark washes and have worn them every day since I got them.

They come in a variety of colors too although, personally, I would stick with the black and jean rinses because the others seemed to highlight my figure flaws. Although I would normally wear a small, I sized up one since they are cotton and they fit me well without being too tight.

I can’t rave about the comfort of these enough so if you need a little break from your leggings this winter, these look like real jeans, but are as glorious as maternity pants and your favorite pajamas. Do get them!
And if you need to suck it up one night, these are almost as comfortable and oh-so-figure flattering.

Our personal happiness this month was two kids really rocking their report cards, working really hard on a campaign for the holidays that I’m super proud of, joining Junior League (and meeting incredible friends), my hubby discovering the South Bend tennis table club, and finally seeing someone who I’m FINALLY making some medical progress with.

High fives all around this month for that stuff.

I hope my month of happy brings a month of happy to you too! If this post doesn’t convince you my newsletter is fun, I’ve got nothing. Sign up over here to get this fun weekly in your inbox.

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, July 27th, 2018

project 333 summer outfit (shirt (on clearance!!)/ skirt (on clearance!!)/ peep toe shoes/ earrings)

I hope your summer is going well. I realize I have been a bit M.I.A. this summer, but the struggle with typing really intensified this month. I have an appointment with a surgeon next month to see what my options are, but this week I turned a corner after finding a gadget to help with my ongoing carpal tunnel issues. It has been so good to sit back at my desk and type without pain again. I realize it is a short term solution, but it really works.

You can read more about why it’s making me happy below.



Our son celebrated his sixteenth birthday with a big surprise this year! We rented a gorgeous treehouse in Nashville on airbnb (here is $40 on a rental to spend if you haven’t tried it yet!) to celebrate his special day. We had an incredible week exploring Nashville and enjoying the gorgeous views from our treehouse.

It was as magical as I had hoped it would be and I’m so thankful to have raised such an awesome young man. I really believe that he is going to do incredible things for our world with his kindness and intelligence. I know that he has taught me a lot through the process of parenting him.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy this week:



I have been going to the gym for years and years, but my body just has not been cooperating the way I need to have good workouts that don’t have setbacks. I have been doing a lot of research on what types of things I need to do to help support my body and core strength is a big thing for me. I discovered the Sworkit app and I could not be happier right now with my new routine.

If you have not heard of it, it is a pretty genius concept. Basically, you pick what you want to work on (like strength, cardio, stretching, or yoga) and it builds a workout based on the time you have available each day. You can follow a plan just based on that or you can vary your routine with a large variety of routines geared towards your own fitness levels. Once you select your routine, a trainer demos each step and you do it for a set length of time and then it repeats with several moves to help the area you are working to target.

Best of all, you don’t need anything except a mat and it can be done from anywhere (I can see how awesome this will be for travel). I have this cushy one and I just do my own modifications to the routines to help keep my body on track.

I love that there is no annoying music, but they do have playlists that are really fun or you can use your own playlists on Spotify or Apple. I also love that you can message trainers and ask questions about your own personal training.

I am working my way through the Strength routine and pairing this with my Cyclecast and this foldable stationary bike (one of my favorite self-care purchases) for some low-impact cardio.

My body is really embracing the new changes and I am too. I miss the socialization aspect of the gym, but I also acknowledge that this is a really great option right now. Slowed down, intentional movement, and shorter routines are what my body needs right now. You can certainly do fast and long on this same app though. If you haven’t worked out in a million years, ain’t no shame. They have a really incredible routine for coming back after your hiatus and even a set for older adults (three cheers for that!).

This year I am learning to listen to my body more and changing this routine was really important for me.

The membership runs about $10 a month and you get a significant discount if you pay for the year. They also offer a free 30-day trial to see if it is right for you.

I plan to put my gym membership savings towards a self-care item like massage therapy or chiropractic care this year.

I can’t wait to see how my body changes from these new routines.

carpal tunnel bracelets

Carpal Tunnel Bracing that WORKS

If you have carpal tunnel and are struggling to keep your symptoms under control, I finally found a carpal tunnel brace that works and works with your daily life. I bought two of these M Brace RCA braces and finally have an amazing amount of pain relief.

I will be honest, these don’t look like much. It is a simple velcro strip with a square plastic piece. Depending on where your symptoms are located, you just position the square where you need it and secure it to your wrists (or forearms). Although I am no doctor, I think the brace just provides added support where your wrist needs to help minimize the pain. Within an hour of putting these on my wrists, my finger pain stopped almost completely. It is unbelievable that such a simply designed item can work more effectively than anything else I have ever tried.

I am still using these to sleep in (I have a tendency to bend my wrists in weird ways when I sleep- hahaha) and I also have one oval-8 splint on my pointer finger to help support it with my mouse and texting, but the hand pain relief is absolutely incredible.

These aren’t fashionable and, yes, I am thinking of modifying them with some craft supplies, but I am just so thankful to have pain-free fingers. I still plan to see the surgeon, but this has changed the game a lot in the meantime. If you even have mild carpal tunnel issues, I think these would help you so much.

Kindle Paperwhite

I Got a Paperwhite

Everyone raves and raves about their Paperwhite so when they dropped in price on Prime Day, I decided to scoop one up for myself. I am in reading HEAVEN right now with this little gadget. My hubby had bought me the original Kindle and I used it for a long time, but got out of the habit of using it. This Paperwhite is amazingly light though and is saving my old lady joints to not have to lug books around with me.

My favorite feature is the nightlight though because I have been able to read until wee hours in the morning without disturbing my husband. Ironically, the power went out that week and I consumed three books over the weekend with all my phone-free time.

I got this simple cover (recommended by my fellow bookworm, Kaytee!!) and it helps free my hands up even more with its clever design. I love that I can just prop my book up while I am having my lunch.

Looking forward to sharing what I read this month with you soon. Believe me when I say, it is quite the stack!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Target Style top/ bottoms/ sandals/leg glowcactus welcome mat

As predicted, summer is already starting to fly by. I always think that there will be endless days of sitting with books and enjoying the sunshine, but we have already started the scheduling of physicals, running to and fro to friend’s houses, the endless outdoor chores, and that whole staying up way too late and sleeping in way too late thing too.

One thing I did pick back up though is my yoga routine and it has made me so happy to be back on my yoga mat again. If you are local and looking for a class, be sure to give this studio a try. I’m all about women supporting women in business and Abbi will be celebrating her first year as a business owner. If you have owned a business, you know there are so many hurdles and joys that come from finally getting launched. Getting that first year behind you is a major milestone so head over and show this passionate lady some support.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy!

Kid Dates

Operation Date Your Kids

As a mom of big kids, I find it challenging to keep them engaged (and off their devices in the summer). Since we nixed the pool membership this year, that freed up some summer funds to try something different.

I proposed that each kid get a solo date with me and they could pick any (budget-friendly) thing that they wanted to do with me for the week. Unfortunately, my sweet girl got sick so we ended up just popping stovetop popcorn and renting this sweet flick from the library.

My son did cash in on his date and asked if he could GO TO THE LIBRARY (insert all the heart-eyed emojis EVAH) and to grab a coffee together.

Two introverts were doing what we loved best…just sitting in silence, sipping coffee, and reading our books.

I did manage to squeeze a few fun facts out of him though on the way so I consider week one a success.

I can’t wait to see what they want to do next week.


A Well-Designed Selfie Stick

I never thought I would be the type of person that carried around a selfie stick and, yet, here we are.  I thought it might be a good investment for my website, but what I didn’t realize was how awesome it was to document moments with my kids.

That picture above?

Yup, just whipped out the selfie stick.


I had one and it quickly broke and I never replaced it. This selfie stick is one of the most cleverly designed tech gadgets though that I have. It folds to a small size, but can be extended short or long for your shots. It also has a tripod which is so handy for my Marco Polo time and Instagram Stories.

Since it has Bluetooth, it syncs with your phone so you can take the photos. Charging is just like charging your phone- no batteries required.

If you want to document time with your kids this summer and be in the pictures, snag this ASAP. You won’t regret it!

hanes ex-temp bra

A Sweat Proof Bra

It has been a million degrees here and I needed to replace my undergarments (*ahem*).  After checking out the crazy-town prices on bras, I decided to check to see if Walmart offered some better options for my budget. I ended up buying three different brands (all of them are amazing- I’ll tell you more after I give the other two a test run), but the one that wins for this summer is this Hanes X-Temp Bra.

The reason why I like it is that it is made from fabric that is meant to adapt to the temperatures you need it throughout the day.

Boob sweat?


I spent a whole day running around yesterday and I was cool and collected in my bra…while the rest of me was a hot mess.

Hey, you can’t have everything.

I also LOVE the price on these and the fact that they don’t have an underwire. I purchased the nude option and you can’t see it under my summer white blouses.

Give this option a try!

netflix source

A few quick things I also loved this week-

Giving these shoes a test run. I’ll keep you posted!

Psyched one of my favorite authors has a new book for me to read. I’m putting this one in my earbuds this weekend.

My favorite stovetop popcorn method.

These salads will be happening this week.

I ordered this for my son’s birthday. He’s going to flip!

This speech was amazing.

I needed to read this.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!


It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, June 8th, 2018


Our son made it through his first year of high school and we couldn’t be prouder. This was such a big transition (for all of us) and it has been such a joy to see him flourish in his new environment.  Since his sister has a sleepover, on the last day of school, we got to take this kid out on his own and celebrate with a little pizza.

I know that I say this often, but it does feel like I blink my eyes and another year together has passed. We are looking forward to another year of savoring the memories with them and even have planned a super secret epic adventure for his 16th birthday. I’d tell you what it is, but I have discovered that my kids follow me around on the interwebz more than I think that they do.

To not acknowledge the elephant in the room today would be wrong on my part. It is so sad to wake up and hear the news of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade this week. I have struggled with both depression and anxiety so I feel like I have a strong understanding of the ups and downs of mental illness. The ups can be so beautiful, but the lows, for me, have felt awfully lonely. The world we live in, with our constant sharing and highlight reels, can make all of this even more crippling. These words really resonated with me today.

I’m not going to pretend I have the answers, but what I do know is that I never EVER have been sad when I reached out to a therapist or to my family doctor to treat my illnesses. It takes a lot of bravery to say, “I’m not okay.” Over the years, I can see the patterns and behaviors that contribute to my illness. I also can see the people who hinder my mental health and have learned how important boundaries are. The other thing is that I have started telling people I love that I’m not okay and that I need help.

For a perfectionist, it makes me feel very vulnerable that I can’t get my shit together.

Each time I say it out loud though, I try to take action.

Today, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and you are loved.

Saying it out loud takes bravery, but the next steps can be so rewarding to feel present again in your life.

Here are three silly things that are bringing me joy this week…

love letters review

Love Letters Card Game

If you are looking for a fun card game that you can carry in your purse, that has quick rounds, and a blast to play (no matter your age), then you must check out Love Letters.

love letters

The story around the game is that all of the eligible young men (and many of the not-so-young) seek to woo the princess of Tempest. Unfortunately, she has locked herself in the Palace, and you must rely on others to bring your romantic letters to her. In this 16-card game,  each player starts with only one card in hand; one card is removed from play. On a turn, you draw one card, and play one card, trying to expose others and knock them from the game. Powerful cards lead to early gains, but make you a target. Rely on weaker cards for too long, however, and your letter may be tossed in the fire.

The rounds are fifteen minutes (or less) and are so much fun. We brought this out to dinner with us and it was the perfect way to pass some time while waiting for our pizza. This game also happens to be less than $10, which sits perfectly in this frugal girl’s budget. Check it out!

Bob's Burgers Bob’s Burgers

One of the things that has been bringing me a lot of joy in the evenings is curling up with my hubby to watch, Bob’s Burgers. I’m probably the last person on the planet to discover how hilarious this show is, but I absolutely adore the writing, smart animation, and music in this show.

Are there any other Bob’s Burgers fans out there?

I have laughed until I’ve cried through several of these episodes and I’m going to be sad when we are all caught up because watching a handful of these has been just the fun medicine I needed when I wasn’t feeling good.

You can catch up on the show through Hulu, if you are the last, LAST person on earth to realize how perfect this show is.

jockey slip shorts Jockey Slip Shorts

I think that I heard about these from Jessica, over at The Mom Creative, and kept this info in the back of mind for our next summer season.

I have become a HUGE fan though of Jockey Slip Shorts (on sale today, buy 1, get 1 50% off so I’m stocking up!!) for underneath my summer dresses.

Although, I love the idea of Spanx, I don’t find them comfortable or as breathable in the summer. That said, I need something to hide underwear lines and prevent that summer jiggle (hahaha!). These Jockey Slip Shorts are a great compromise and have been such a great foundation piece under my clothes.

I highly recommend these!

A few quick things I also loved this week-

This movie– although I was UGLY CRYING through it. SO incredibly good. Run, run, run to the theater to see it.

My favorite show is back.

We needed a patio umbrella so we got the big guns and it is epically perfect for huge coverage on our patio.

This popping up in my Instagram.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!


It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, May 25th, 2018




I celebrated 18 married years with my hubby this past weekend.  When I look at these pictures I realize what babies we were when we made these monumental vows. As we have grown up together, I believe it really is a lottery moment when you grow up and grow into people that you both really like. We barely resemble these two kids who said, “I do,” but I can’t imagine doing the hard tasks of adulting with anyone else.

Here are three other things that are making me happy this week!

The Pickup Line

The Pickup Line

If you are looking for a newsletter that can keep you informed on the headlines, help you figure out what to make for dinner, and even provide a playlist for your ride, look no further than The Pickup Line.

The exciting news for me (and maybe for you too!) is that I will be sharing a book selection for moms AND a YA book selection for tweens/teens each week with their subscribers.   You can catch my feature in their amazing newsletter on Wednesdays. I hope I can find a few books for you that haven’t made your stack yet!

Feel free to subscribe over here.


The Perfect Summer Quilt

I have been on the hunt for a great lightweight quilt for our beds and I discovered these inexpensive quilts that fit the bill perfectly. Not only are they under $20, they are the perfect weight for those humid summer evenings. They come in several hues, have a beautiful quilted pattern, and are made of a really cozy material. I think you will like them too! I plan to get them for all the beds in our house since our upstairs is so much warmer than our lower levels.

blow dry spray

Quick Dry Primer Spray

Did you know that they make a primer spray that can help you cut down on how long it takes to blow dry your hair? Well, they do and I am absolutely loving it. I pair it with this smart brush, that allows the air to circulate better, and have cut my blow dry time down in half.  With this to finish it, I feel like I get a professional blowout in no time flat (and without the hefty price tag).

4th-of-july-flag-fruit-dessert-tray-3 source

Reading: I just finished this book for book club and ADORED it. As a record collector, this one really hit home for me. You can join the book club over here– it is FREE.

Playing: We are really loving this board game right now and I am hoping we can play it again over the holiday weekend.

Watching: This adorable movie with my girl. If you haven’t seen it yet, add it to your agenda. It’s the sweetest!

Loving: These new summer sandals. The criss-cross in chambray adds such an adorable detail & I’m loving that these come in a wide width. Lucky for you, they are also 40% off with coupon code SAVE40.

Inspired: By this thoughtful list of summer activities to try. These small acts of self-care are also inspiring for my weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!

It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Rent the Runway

It’s Fri-yay and a perfect time to share a quick recap before I pack my bags and leave again.

I know, I know!

These past two months have been bonkers and I’m so grateful for every minute of it.

If you recall, I was in Pasadena for the Mom 2.0 Summit last week.  As always, the conference was an absolute glam-fest and full of incredible speakers. Kristen Bell and Brené Brown were both as fantastic, dynamic, and real as I had hoped they would be. I also walked away with a lot of notes about how to manage this corner of the internet better.

Even after fourteen years, I continue to be a work in progress.

For me, it is all about being with my friends and many, that I had not seen in five years or more (!!!),  ended up attending this conference. It was so fun to be reunited again!

Being nominated for an Iris Award for Best Mom Blog was such an honor. Although I did not win, I am proud to have written the content I did and for the community I have worked so hard to cultivate here.

Taye Diggs

I timed my bathroom break, after the show, perfectly too! Taye Diggs, our host for the evening’s event, happened to be in the lobby while I was walking through. It was such an honor to meet him. I am also happy to report that he was just as I had hoped he would be. He’s got those Midwest manners down and graciously took a picture with me.

How awesome is that?

My frocks were courtesy of Rent the Runway and I only had to stuff two of these in the top to make it work. Hahaha! #bodygoals

By the way, I noticed that RTR is running a special for Memorial Day weekend. Rent 1, Get 2 free for your festivities. A common misconception is that they only offer ballgowns. They actually offer lots of cute everyday dresses and apparel too. If you have anything fun happening that weekend (and haven’t used their services before), here is $30 credit too to put towards your purchase.


Where am I headed next?

My Mother’s Day gift is renting a Lake Michigan home with my childhood bestie for the weekend.

We plan to do NOTHING for ANYONE and we are so excited.

I am a newbie to Costco (tell me your tips!!) and noticed these premade meals would be perfect so neither of us has to cook.

Plans include sitting in a hot tub, moving to the couch, drinking wine, maybe switching couches, sleeping in, and not getting dressed. After that? Maybe move to a chair.

Doesn’t that sound like a great Mother’s Day gift?

I think so.

Here are 3 other things making me happy this week…

Genius Caffeine

Genius Caffeine

I shared with you that I found out I have silent reflux and that has meant modifying my diet a bit. I find that coffee, sadly, has been a big contributor to my symptoms. I really need a pick-me-up in the morning though so I started researching supplement options.

For the last month, I have been using something called Genius Caffeine and I can’t tell you how much it has improved my mental clarity, reduced my caffeine jitters, and even helped me to sleep better than I was before.

Genius Caffeine pills offer the equivalent caffeine of a standard cup of coffee (100 mg. per tablet).  Since I was drinking a pot a day, I wondered if I would feel hungover switching to this supplement option.  Lo and behold, I had no troubles at all switching and I feel clearer mentally than I have in a long time.

The difference between this and the coffee is that it is an extended release tablet. Basically, I would have that UP and then DOWN and then UP with coffee. That’s why I kept drinking it. I kept craving the UP.

With these, the tablet releases the caffeine slowly so you never have those highs and lows that come with coffee drinking.  I’m pretty sure I have ADHD, as it runs in my family,  so this has helped me with sustaining focus. I pair it with this supplement to help treat the ADHD symptoms naturally.  (PS- if you have a child with ADHD, please read my series on the diagnosis and treatment process we went through with our son- part one, part two, part three)

I can’t say enough good things if you are trying to ditch the coffee-pot-a-day habit too.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Meeting Katherine Center

The book I chose for last week’s flight was, How to Walk Away by Katherine Centers. I devoured the entire book on my flight and just could not put it down. It’s one of those books that you just want to pass on to a girlfriend after you finish it.

In case you missed my April book reviews, I shared that if you are a Me Before You fan, you wouldn’t want to miss this gorgeous summer read.

In this story, you must imagine that you are terrified of flying and, just as you always suspected, you are in a tragic accident. This is exactly what unfolds from the opening chapters of How to Walk Away, and the reader is taken along the journey as Kit’s life, as she knows it, is forever changed.

Also, imagine that the person you love walks away from the experience unscathed.

The book centers around the difficult recovery, the surprises of those who step up in tragedies, the sadness around those that walk away, and how to find love again.

I was so proud of myself that I got these reviews up while I was at the conference and just had jotted down my thoughts about how much I had enjoyed the book. I also shared with my roomie that I thought she should pick up this book for her next trip.

In a funny twist of fate, she came upstairs and said, “I’m pretty sure that the author is downstairs signing books right now.”

I ran downstairs and there was Katherine Center signing books and chatting with the conference attendees.

Can you believe my luck?

I will be shocked if we don’t see this book come to the movie theaters and I also told Katherine that I feel that she has a sequel in this story because I would love to see how Kit’s life continues to unfold. Hey, if Jojo Moyes can do it, why can’t she?

Best of all, Katherine will be joining us for a Sundays With Writers. Now that makes me SUPER happy.  Stay tuned!

sidedoor podcast

Sidedoor Podcast

Did you know that the Smithsonian has a podcast series? Our Florida road trip included A LOT of podcasts and we talked about which were our favorites on our way home. Almost everyone loved episodes from the Sidedoor Podcast the most. The premise is that more than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers, and astrophysicists, host Tony Cohn sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else.

We listened to several episodes and two that I found the most fascinating were Murder is Her Hobby and A Crane with a Crush.

I guarantee once you start this podcast, you are going to have a hard time stopping. It’s FASCINATING.

Oh, and a few quick things that I don’t want to forget to tell you-

EDS Awareness Month

May is Ehlers-Danlos Awareness Month. There are three out of four people in my family that are dealing with this disease and I shared about my initial diagnosis over here. SO MANY people have this and are never treated. Do you have mystery symptoms that you have never gotten an explanation on? Here is my story.

This is what I gave my moms for Mother’s Day.

I’m working on my capsule and snagged a few things off this list.

Wanna know what I plan to put in my earbuds next? This book.

I bought these because they come in a wide width… and they are ten bucks. SOLD!

Looking to expand your reading wish list?  Each week I ask what people are reading and get a couple hundred responses. You can read them too.

Happy Mother’s Day, friends! May you be celebrated in all the ways that your heart desires.


*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!





It’s the 3 Little Things

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Happy Friday!

How long has it been since I shared a few of my favorite things?

Too long, in my opinion!

It’s been all good things this month and I wanted to catch you up a bit and then share what’s been making me happy this week.

It has been a busy month of fun travel this past month! After visiting the HGTV Smart Home with SimpliSmart, I headed to Florida with the family for our first really long road trip (where we learned about team building- hahaha!), and then I headed to Whistler with the Maven Coalition.

All of these opportunities were made possible, by this amazing supplement that came in just the nick of time.

Next week I’m off again to head to Pasadena for the Mom 2.0 Conference, which was a surprise trip this month.  Typically, our ballet festivities happen around this time of year so I decided to not secure a ticket to the event. The ballet festivities got moved to June though and then this happened…

Iris Awards Nominee

There was an email in my inbox that said, “Congratulations! You were selected and recognized as a 2018 Iris Award nominee for the distinguished Best Mom Blog of the Year Iris Award®, one of the year’s greatest achievements in parenting blogging as determined by your peers and leaders in media, journalism, marketing and the creative arts.”

This is where I promptly bursted into tears with my husband.

How awesome is this?

This was worth packing my suitcase again and I am SO excited to spend some time with my friends and learn how to continue to grow this space.

For you AND for me!

I need to sit down and finish out my no-spend challenge documentation, but decided since this month was so crazy that I would halt my plans to slow down on social media and commit to that in May instead. I’ll share more about that next week, but I am excited to see how it opens my eyes to my habits. I know that the no-spend challenge DEFINITELY opened my eyes A LOT and has been making me way more conscious of my spending habits this month.

Here are 3 other things that are making me happy!

Wild Wild Country Wild Wild Country

If you haven’t dug into the Netflix docu-series, Wild Wild Country yet, you will definitely want to add this to your watchlist. This series explores the controversial story of the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho), his one-time personal assistant Ma Anand Sheela, and their community of followers in Rajneeshpuram community that resided in Wasco County, Oregon in the ’80’s.

Imagine a sleepy and quiet town that is suddenly taken over by a religious group that no one really understands as they fall at the feet of an Indian guru who rides in on a Rolls Royce and has a red carpet rolled out at his feet.

Unbelievable, right?

The group takes over a huge acreage of land, next to the small town of Antelope, and build a compound where they can live and grow together in their way of life. When the town feels threatened by their presence, actions are taken to protect their community that they have built and many of these actions end up having devastating consequences.

We could not plow through this series quick enough and had lots of discussions since about what it means to be welcoming to people we don’t understand and our own human natures to shy away from anything that we don’t see as, “normal.”

In the current political climate, it fits really well with many of the themes that we have discussed around our dinner table about our love and acceptance of all. That said, this piece really sheds light on a bigger picture issue of the children that were left behind and while elements of this movement made since, many were disturbing as well.

I also found this piece compelling on why people gravitate towards cults and the differences between what defines a cult versus an organized religion.

I could talk about this one all day, but I’ll just say that this one gave us a lot to chew on and I think you might find it compelling too.

Swiftkey source

Swiftkey Keyboard

I am queen of shortcuts these days, especially when it comes to my hands and fingers. I joined a life hacks group for my health challenges, and one of the posters shared about the Swiftkey Keyboard (over here for iPhone) as a great option to help people who struggle with texting and typing on their phones.

Am I the last person on earth to discover how awesome this is?

Basically, you install this keyboard on your phone and it replaces your current keyboard. Instead of pecking at your keys, you can just drag your fingers across the letters to type the words. The keyboard is very intuitive so it gets the hang of your patterns quickly and then it starts predicting your words and where spaces should be.

I’m still getting the hang of the layout, but dragging my fingers versus the tapping I was doing seems to be slightly easier on my joints.

Nuun Electrolytes

Nuun Electrolytes

I am trying to do better about staying hydrated and since I have been traveling a lot, I decided to see if there were any electrolyte options that might travel well. I ran across the Nuun Electrolytes at my local vitamin store and thought I would pack them in my carry-on bag with an empty water bottle.

I have to say, this addition to my travel routine was such a smart one! Most electrolyte drinks have too much sugar in them and I usually have a major crash, thanks to my hypoglycemia. Most sports drinks actually have more sugar in them than two scoops of ice cream (!!!)  which explains why I crash so hard after I drink them.

These tablets have just 1 gram of sugar (you can read more about what’s in them over here) and have made drinking water a little more fun. I have loved the Fruit Punch and Mixed Berry flavors, in particular.

Not only are these great for travel, but I see these as a great hangover remedy too when I know the drinks will be flowing.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend, friends!! If you are looking for me, you’ll find me curled up with this book this weekend. Stay tuned for my favorite reads this month-


*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though. Check out past editions of It’s the 3 Little Things!